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Working it out in the world, and sometimes writing about it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Free Time in Florence

At first, I had no idea what to do with my enormous quantity of free time here. I was also pretty down, so I filled it with episodes of “Will and Grace.” When that ran out, I slept. Finally, I started meeting people and forcing myself to get out and do things.
I’ve started getting back into running. I stayed away from it for a long time, and now I’m doing well again. Hour-long runs along to Arno provide great thinking time and also observing people. A few runs ago, I was coming back and I noticed some water trickling down the trail embankment. I noticed it, but didn’t think too much of it. I went another thirty seconds into my run and literally ran into gushing water. I climbed the embankment and found water gushing from a split pipe at street level. Water covered the sidewalk and pooled in the street. The tiny Italian cars seemed to carefully tiptoe around the massive paddle so as not to get their Smart Cars dirty. There was a tulip truck (seriously, a tiny truck full of tulips) parked right in front of the burst pipe. I was sure it was going to float away. The owner unlocked the door and tossed something inside, and I was sure he was going to climb in and try to make his way out of the growing puddle. Nope—he tossed the keys on the seat and went back to the sidewalk, watching the small sea grow. People accumulated around the water and watched. No one seemed stressed about it at all, but no one seemed to be calling anyone about the increasing water level. I like Italians. I got my shoes soaked hopping my way out of the wetlands, but I didn’t care.
As long as the pipes stay intact, I hope to be fit enough to run a race while I’m here. I have yet to investigate it, and my friend Ross insists that we should do the Torino marathon. He’s never run one yet, and neither have I. I can’t seem to convince him that it’ll take more than a month and half to get ready for one. I’m thinking a 10K. Never run it before, and I’d like to here. That’s my goal.
I have also joined a jazz club. I wish it had a cool Italian name, but alas, it’s called Jazz Club. So sad. It’s a good walk away from my apartment, but the music is well worth it. Every night is something different, but Tuesday nights feature NYU students on open mic night. I ordered my first mixed drink here, Sex on the Beach, because it sounded less painful than the rest. I can barely handle a glass of wine (of which I’ve only had two since I’ve been here) and the drink knocked me out. I’m not built to be a drinker and that’s just fine with me.
I also walk a lot. It’s about a mile and a quarter walk to school, and I usually make that walk at least twice, out and back, but I also walk just to walk. I walk up to Piazza di Michelangelo and around town. Henry James said he learned to see and to walk in Italy. Hopefully I’ll do the same thing.
I started journaling consistently again. I started in December and here I’ve really kept to it. I haven’t journaled like that since sophomore year of high school. I think it’ll be great to look back and see what it was like and what I was like.
I keep a writing book and pen in each backpack and bag I carry with me. It’s sometimes hard to piece together things in all three or four books, but this way I always have something in which to record thoughts and sights. It’s good for me.
Aaah, letter writing! I love it! I’ve been getting mail here, too, and it’s always fun. I think I’m spending way too much on postage, but it’s well worth it.

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